High-quality diagnostics, made simple and accessible wherever and whenever needed.

The Orbis Arca

An automated lab-in-a-box, providing rapid and reliable results to inform time-critical health management at the point of need.

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Lab Quality

accurate, quantitative results

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up to 8 samples at once

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results reported in 15 mins

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load sample and walk away

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for deployment at wherever needed

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finger-prick blood sample


Our game-changing diagnostic platform is specifically designed for use in high-volume, non-laboratory environments.

See our prototype in action

How does it work?

“We have essentially taken all the components of a laboratory, shrunk them, and put them in a microchip.”

– Dr Matheus Vargas, CTO 

Orbis’ proprietary microfluidic disks contain all the reagents required to miniaturise an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the gold-standard serology test used in laboratories worldwide. The platform controls the flow of fluid through the disks and analyses the output using an automated optical read-out system. This achieves the speed and portability of a rapid strip test with the accuracy and robust repeatability of an ELISA.

Product Portfolio

The QIC Test – Quantitative Immunity for COVID-19

From a microdroplet of blood, the Orbis QIC test quantitatively measures antibodies that bind and neutralize the spike protein, the sticky part of the coronavirus that allows it to enter our cells. Levels of these antibodies have been proven to be highly predictive of protection against re-infection following COVID-19 and breakthrough infection following vaccination, demonstrating their suitability as a marker of vaccine efficacy [1],[2],[3],[4].

anti-spike (RBD) IgG, calibrated to the WHO standard [5].

Intended Use:
The QIC test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used for the quantitative determination of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human whole blood on the Orbis Arca. The QIC test is to be used as an aid in evaluating immune status of infected individuals and to monitor antibody response in individuals that have received the COVID-19 vaccine, by quantitatively measuring IgG antibodies against the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2.

Woman at an airport with a mask on.

At the Border

  • Risk management and decision-support tool for a smart and secure border
  • Higher volumes of international arrivals while supporting community safety
Doctor with a mask on.

At the Frontline

  • Regular check-ups of frontline staff and health professionals
  • Monitor immune levels and mitigate risk of outbreaks
A person holding another person's arm at a clinic.

At the Clinic

  • Informed patient management decisions
  • Triage booster shots for those most vulnerable
Test FAQs
Why test for immunity?

The last two years have shown that this coronavirus isn’t going anywhere soon. So, if it’s inevitable you’re going to meet the virus, then you want to be in the best position that you can, immunity-wise, when you encounter it. Billions of people have been or will be vaccinated, but the reality of waning immunity and breakthrough infections will lead many people to seek and need immunity tests to determined how protected they in fact are and when a booster is required. Studies around the world have confirmed immunity levels, particularly in those who’ve not been naturally infected, can drop off quite sharply about 6 months from the date of the last vaccine shot.

Everyone's immune response to vaccination is different which means the timing for when individuals need their booster will also be different - some of us might need boosting sooner than every 6 months. This means it’s important to test immunity at the individual level, to enable boosters to go to those most in need and ensure the next stage of vaccination programmes are efficient and effective.

How are antibodies a marker of immune protection?

Antibodies are key players in the immune response, as they are specifically designed to target and neutralize the pathogen before it can cause widespread damage. These proteins, of the right type and amount, can also provide the ‘immune memory’ that protects against infection if the pathogen is encountered again. The major Covid-19 vaccines are designed to generate specific antibodies that protect against infection by blocking the spike protein, the sticky part of the coronavirus that enables it to enter our own cells. As the level of these antibodies increases, the risk of breakthrough infection with Covid-19 decreases.

Why quantitative immunity testing?

Quantitative tests provide a numeric result - in Orbis’ case a concentration of anti-spike antibodies from a finger-prick blood sample. This number can then be converted to an estimate of immune protection.

On the other hand, qualitative tests provide a binary yes/no result, for example ‘yes immune’ or ‘no, not immune’. Rapid strip antibody tests are qualitative but are used to diagnose infection rather than immunity as they are limited by their sensitivity.

Leading researchers have concluded that only a quantitative immunity test can provide sufficient information to assess the level of protection a person has gained against Covid-19, and monitor this level overtime to determine how it is tracking.

The US FDA announced on 15 November that it intends to focus its review on emergency use authorization (EUA) requests for lab-based and point of measure the amount of neutralizing antibodies, which is what Orbis Diagnostics provides.

What about cellular immunity?

The immune system is complex but can be broadly divided into cellular and humoral (antibody) immunity.

In the cellular department, T cells are key for clearing a virus out of infected cells. They are not as specific in their response as antibodies, which makes them more flexible at fighting variants. They can also endure for many months or years following infection or vaccination and can help more antibodies to be produced when needed.

However, T cells are not easy or quick to measure - the latest available tests have at least a seven-to-ten day turnaround time. While it’s possible that you could be protected from Covid-19 by T cells even with a low antibody level, they don’t seem to be as important as antibodies. “The antibody response is the most critical response for protection by vaccination, not the T cell response” concludes the lead author of a recent study that challenged T cell depleted monkeys with the coronavirus.

What's different about Orbis' test?

Lab-based immunity tests can be highly accurate but involve an invasive venous blood draw and a complex logistical chain that means results aren't returned quickly for time-critical health management.

Using its unique lab-in-a-box technology, Orbis is simplifying quantitative immunity testing to be quick, easy and accessible at any point of need. This enables highly accurate immunity screening in high-volume locations such as the doctor's office, pharmacy, or the border.

What about new variants?

As the virus continues to evolve, there is the possibility that the antibodies required to neutralize it will also change.

For the Omicron variant, the good news is that research shows that booster doses can boost antibody levels high enough to compensate for a lack of a perfect match.

Orbis has previously adapted its assay to account for the Delta variant in the space of a few weeks, and will be able to do the same for Omicron and new variants of concern.

When will the test be available?

Orbis has conducted a clinical trial in partnership with Air New Zealand of its Covid-19 immunity test and is now registered with Medsafe. This test will be available to New Zealanders in early 2022.

Keep updated on our test availability here.